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October 17, 2009

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Drought in Fujian hits people, crops

DROUGHT in the southern part of east China's Fujian Province has led to drinking water shortages for more than 175,000 people and damaged more than 53,200 hectares of crops, a drought relief headquarters official said yesterday.

Quanzhou and Zhangzhou were the worst-hit cities, he said.

Local authorities said that of the crops affected, 1,520 hectares of cash crops and grain had scorched in Zhangzhou City, where farming conditions are the best in the province.

Zhangzhou, famous for fruit and flowers, saw rainfall decrease by 1.8 percent to 45.7 percent in counties under its jurisdiction from January to September, in comparison with the same period in past years.

Water storage in all reservoirs in the city was now some 30 percent of normal capacity.

Quanzhou, a leading industrialized city in southern Fujian, recorded rainfall of 896 millimeters so far this year, more than 30 percent less than the average for the same period for the past 60 years, according to the municipal meteorological bureau.

Coastal areas of the city had suffered drought for more than 50 days in a row, the bureau said, in the worst summer drought since 1993.

Hong Zesheng, vice mayor of Quanzhou, said the city was considering restricting water supplies to heavy users. It might also take measures to increase rainfall artificially.

It is feared there is worse to come with autumn and winter traditionally dry periods.


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